At circuit meeting today, skimmed an early copy of the Lutheran Confessions (1570) minus the Formula of Concord, and found this remarkable passage in the introduction (my rough translation from the German!):
Where is the srength of Goliath? Where is the beauty of Absolom? Where is the art of Aristotle? Where is the majesty of Solomon? Where is the pride of Nebuchadnezzar? Where is the wealth of Croesus? Where is the power of Romulus? Where is the lust of Sardanapalus? All is gone, as the Psalm says: as a flower of the field, yes, as a vapor it soon flies away.
Those born from above, whose sins are forgiven through Christ, the word of grace, receive comfort of conscience and eternal life; all of which goodness God shares and sends us through his divine word, are not given comfort and enduring riches alone in this life, rather they endure through trouble in misfortune, in sickness, in death, and after death forever and ever.